By William Spear
Feng Shui is a method of understanding the relationship between our external environment and our consciousness within. When properly practiced, this profound, ancient art creates a polarity between these two worlds, which stimulates movement and change. This sounds easy enough, but for anyone studying Feng Shui beyond the media sound bites and popular magazine features, one overwhelming truth quickly appears: There is a vast body of knowledge requiring many years of study, and confusion can easily conquer clarity.
It has been said that no lesser sages than Lao Tsu and Confucius spent their whole lives studying the I Ching or Book of Changes, which is the basis of Feng Shui. Indeed, their words are wise, but are their teachings practical in today’s world?
More a philosophy than a science, Feng Sui defies description or superficial approach. While it might be presented as a collection of universal principles, the wise student searches for deeper understanding by consulting the source, the guidebook, the I Ching. Posing the question “What is Feng Shui?” more than fifty experienced practitioners around the world recently sought guidance from the Book of Changes. The responses varied greatly, of course, but a consistent theme emerged which offers an essential teaching. Nearly every interpretation advised the seeker to keep a beginner’s mind, to remain detached from any point of view, to let go of rigid thinking: simply, to start over.
The objections expose. “Go back to square one? Wait a minute. I’m no beginner. What’s going on here?’ Alas, our well-trained minds do not give up so easily. The ego would be out of a good job, the commentator replaced by the unsettling voice of “I don’t know.” We seem so sure of ourselves, so absolute in seeing the world the way we think it is, so fixed and determined in our interpretation that we call it Truth.
Belief systems without challenge become the basis of a culture’s unconscious destiny. It was only a few thousand years ago that we knew the world was flat. A literal translation of the Qur’an and the Holy Bible confirms it. People did not just believe this; it was an obvious absolute. Any fool could tell; just take a look out over that ocean. Get in a boat, lose sight of the shore, and you’ll fall off the edge of the world. Why you might even go beyond the horizon! Imagine the surprise on the explorer’s face when, with only water visible everywhere, Captain Courageous set sail and found himself smack in the middle of nowhere. The great adventurer had ventured into the unknown, experiencing the first, essential step on the road to any great discovery; doubt.
Ubi dubium ib I libertas
Where there is doubt, there is freedom
It is heartening to know that many students and practitioners of Feng Shui want to make the world a better place, to contribute their understanding, and to make a difference where it counts. City planners as well as designers of health care facilities and schools are seeking input from experienced practitioners. The modern language of Feng Shui is cognitive ergonomics: how the physical environment reflects the way we think; Awareness of the invisible energies of electromagnetism has resulted in deep concern over the safety of advancing technology.
But the real change in the modern world is not happening outside us. We are in the midst of a major shift in consciousness. Research shows that most of us no longer see the world as a safe place that each individual must move beyond chaos to order within; we are returning in large numbers to the guidance of spirit. Our inner topography is changing dramatically, and within, our priorities and what we consider reality. We are finally recognizing that the illusions under which we have lived have become so big that we actually thought they were real.
“Man experiences himself, his thoughts, and his feeling, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty.”
... Albert Einstein
William Spear. Author of Feng Shue Made Easy. For more than thirty years, William Spear has acted as an inspiring educator and consultant having developed his own approach known as Intuitive Feng Shui®. His intimate understanding of the art of placement combines with his comprehensive knowledge of aesthetics, interior design, sustainable architecture, natural landscaping and world cultures to offer each client an understanding of the transformative changes they want to make. williamspear.com/expertise/feng-shui/